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Leron Kornreich
Silicon Valley Communications for TOM: Tikkum Olam Makers

Media Kit:

More Than 100 Volunteers Join Forces at Bay Area Makeathon to Tackle Challenges for People with Disabilities
September 11-13 event organized by TOM in partnership with United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay and supported by Google
San Francisco, CA , September 8, 2015 --

TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers), in partnership with UCP of the North Bay, and supported by, is hosting the Bay Area Makeathon for assistive technology in San Francisco from September 11–13, 2015. In only 72 hours, more than 100 volunteers working in teams will generate hardware and software prototypes designed to address everyday needs of people living with disabilities.

Leading each team is a need-knower, a person with intimate knowledge and experience with the everyday lives of people with disabilities. Need-knowers may be a person with a disability, a caregiver, or medical professional. Together, teams will tackle meaningful challenges experienced by people with disabilities. A range of projects have been submitted, spanning complex technological challenges from a low-cost Braille display for smartphones and computers to prototyping an adaptable, lightweight “21st century wheelchair.” Taking place at TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop, makerspace and fabrication studio, participants will have access to advanced manufacturing technologies to prototype designs. MakerBot, the official 3D printing partner of the event, will also have staff on-site to assist teams.

“Our aim is to gather the best minds in technology and design to address the needs of people with disabilities,” said Arnon Zamir, director and founder of TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers. “We are especially excited to hold TOM’s first US Makeathon in San Francisco, a hub of innovation and creativity. Together, we can make meaningful change in 72 hours.”

Event Details

Where: TechShop San Francisco, 926 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103
When: Friday–Sunday, September 11–13, 2015
Judging and Awards: Sunday, September 13 at 3:30PM

On the final day of the Bay Area Makeathon, teams will present to a panel of expert judges. Judges will match the teams with the most promising prototypes with prizes that enable them to move the project forward, and take the next step towards impact. Prizes from the event sponsors include a one-month membership to TechShop for all team members and the winning team will receive a six-month membership, a MakerBot replicator, and future project funding sponsored by Lyft,, Prize4Life, UCP of the North Bay, and TOM.

“We know that the Makeathon will lead to fantastic ideas,” says Dennis Blong, president of business operations, UCP of the North Bay. “The excitement surrounding the event and the hope of positively impacting the lives of people with disabilities around the world through technology and innovation lives within our entire community.”

"As part of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, we're excited to be supporting the Makeathon's unique approach to innovation—one focusing the attention of makers, technologists and dreamers around concrete and relevant challenges of people with disabilities. We've heard loud and clear that solving for these challenges would have an immediate impact on people's lives--and we're eager to make that impact a reality," said Arie Meir, technology program manager,

To find out about future TOM events sign up for the TOM Global newsletter, or to lead a future event in another city, get in touch.

About TOM
TOM is a global community of makers, technology developers, engineers, designers, innovators and need-knowers, who seek to solve unmet societal needs. As the name suggests, in the spirit of the traditional Jewish value of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. The unique magic of TOM inspires the most brilliant ideas and it happens by bringing together, into one makerspace and for 72 hours of intensive work, the “Need-Knowers” (people who understand the needs), and the “Technologists” (engineers, designers, developers, and makers). 

TOM is an initiative of the Reut Institute and the ROI Community and the Bay Area Makeathon is the latest in a series of events that have taken place in Nazareth and Tel Aviv, Israel, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. TOM directs innovation to the places where most impact is created.

About UCP of the North Bay
UCP of the North Bay believes that individuals with even the most challenging disabilities have the right to quality education and transition services; integrated employment opportunities with competitive wages and career opportunities; and accessible recreation programs.  Primary services provided by UCPNB include Education, Transition Services, Social Enterprise Employment Programs, Supported Employment and Recreation Services, spanning Sonoma, Napa, Solano and surrounding counties.

About, the philanthropic arm of Google, seeks out and supports innovative approaches to tackling the world’s biggest challenges.  The Bay Area Makeathon is part of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, a company-wide effort backed with $20 million in grants to promote the development of assistive technologies to increase opportunity and independence for people with disabilities.

About TechShop, Inc.
Founded in October 2006, TechShop is a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio that provides access to a vibrant community of creative makers and millions of dollars' worth of facilities, equipment, tools and software in each location. Based in San Jose, Calif., with locations globally, TechShop offers classes, workshops, instruction and training for people of all ages and skill levels to build whatever they can dream.For information on memberships and course listings, visit, email or call 855-TECHSHOP. You can follow TechShop on Twitter at @TechShop and on Facebook as TechShop Incorporated.

TechShop currently offers a number of investment opportunities. For more information, or to RSVP for one of our upcoming live webinars, visit

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